Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Patriot

I love Egypt and I love being Egyptian.

I'm not sure why it feels like a confession, but for some reason, I feel the need to say it once and for all. For many of us who have grown up abroad, we may like Egypt for North Coast vacations and crazy taxi driver stories, but when it comes to committing we fall short. We say we can't handle the heat, the pollution, or the crowds. We make fun of Egypt, ridicule it and its people.

Then there are those who say they love Egypt, though they say it with a sense of vagueness, as if they're not quite sure why, but all their friends thought they were cool when they realized they came from the land of the pyramids and the Nile, so they figured that must be worth something.

Growing up, I had always noticed that Egyptians were intensely patriotic and deeply attached to their country. On several occasions, I have mistaken a patriotic song for a love song. I have seen Egyptians brought to tears at the mere thought of what Egypt used to be, and what it could be.

Strangely enough, even in my decision to move to Egypt, I never realized that I loved my country. To be honest, I didn't even really see it as my country. More like a country. But mine? It didn't feel that way. Needless to say, all of that changed on January 25th. Since then, I have seen why Egyptians love their country and why they love each other. What we have witnessed in the last three weeks can only be described as true humanity, selflessness, and faith in the face of what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles.

We are indebted to the men and women who have given us our country back, who loved Egypt too much to let it be neglected one more day. Thank you for reminding us why we love Egypt: You.